Never Stray from the Way

Hello all,

I’m re-watching the video about the 21 life lessons from Musashi’s Dokkodo. The final lesson listed is to never stray from the way.

The first couple of times I watched this, I didn’t really get the meaning. I kept wondering ‘What way? Which way is the way?’. After hearing this several times and learning more about the teachings of Buddhism, I realized that the way is simply your particular goals. To put it even more simply, “Do what you find important.”

For me, I’ve started to really spend a lot of time with my family in the past few days. I used to do housework and cleaning while my husband was home in the mornings, and then I would rest and enjoy my day when he went to work. These days, I leave the work for when he’s gone, and I just sit and spend time with him in the mornings. We weren’t having problems before by any means, but this shift has really brought us closer. It feels like we’re more of a loving couple and less like roommates.

Focusing on important things has also had an impact on my housework. It’s important to me to have a clean house, but it’s not so important for me to clean things for cleaning’s sake. Yes, the act of cleaning does help to cleanse the mind, but I find that it doesn’t help me unless I’m actually cleaning dirt off something. This mindset has definitely changed how I do things. For example, I dust much more than previously. I don’t like dusting. I dread it in fact. However, now I don’t think of it as dusting. I just think of it as clearing cobwebs away from both my furniture and my mind. Just like the dust settles onto things within 2-3 days, the mind can get equally dusty in a short amount of time.

But on the same note, I sweep less than before. I used to be a sweepaholic. I didn’t like for there to be any dirt on my floors. My husband and I rent an apartment with white tile, so I found myself sweeping A LOT. Now, I only sweep once a day – sometimes only every other day. I like my floors to be clean, but there are other, more important things in life than the little bit of dirt I can see on the tile.

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